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Hip Pain

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What is it?

Hip pain involves any pain in or around the hip joint.Hip-related pain is not always felt directly over the hip. You may feel it in the middle of your thigh or in your groin. Similarly, pain you feel in the hip may actually reflect a problem in your back, rather than your hip itself.

What causes it?

The most common causes of hip pain are arthritis, bursitis (friction between the bone and overlying soft tissue), muscle strain, sprains and nerve irritation.Hip fractures are also a significant and serious cause of sudden hip pain. Hip fractures become more common as people age because falls are more likely and bones become less dense.People with osteoporisis are particularly vulnerable and can experience hip fracture from simple, everyday activities.

Other possible causes of hip pain include:  

  • Infection

  • Labral tear (A ring of cartilage called the Labrum in the socket of the hip joint that the thigh bone sits in)

  • Low-back pain (such as sciatica)

  • Osteonecrosis

  • Snapping hip (a condition often seen in dancers which results in a snapping noise and feeling around the hip joint)

  • Tendinitis (from repetitive or strenuous activity)

  • Trochanteric bursitis (pain when you walk, get up from a chair, climb stairs or drive)

 

Home treatments include: 

  • Rest

  • Ice

  • Avoiding activities that aggravate the pain

  • Over-the-counter pain medication (including anti-inflammatory medication)

  • Sleep with a pillow between your legs

In some cases, as the pain improves, you can gradually begin to exercise (It is best to work with a physical therapist to gradually advance your activity). This may include pelvic stability exercises. You should always seek medical attention if a hip fracture is suspected.


You should also contact a medical professional if:  

  • Hip pain is caused by a fall or other injury

  • Your hip is still painful after one week of home treatment

  • You also have a fever or rash

  • The hip is out of shape, badly bruised, or bleeding

  • You are unable to move your hip or bear any weight

Your medical professional may recommend ultrasound to help reduce pain and inflammation.

Other treatment may include:  

  • Orthotics to correct foot biomechanics

  • Draining fluid from the bursa with a needle

  • A steroid injection followed by rest

Surgical repair or hip replacement may be recommended for osteonecrosis. Hip replacement is usually necessary for hip fracture and severe arthritis.

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About Pain does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment